True to our mission of cultivating readers and nurturing writers, we believe that children need to be able to see their race, culture, family dynamics, and neighborhoods in the books they read. That’s why we started “Books as Mirrors,” a three-year initiative that will provide more than $200,000 worth of new, diverse, and culturally relevant books to Spartanburg County public elementary school libraries.
Hub City has compiled a growing master list of diverse picture and chapter books that contains over 400 titles. Each book has been hand-selected for its ability to discuss one or more of the following topics: Diverse Family Representation, Identity, Crossing Borders, Making a Difference, and Mental Health. These themes address the wide number of challenges and social issues children in Spartanburg County face every day.
We coordinate with the principals, vice principals, media specialists, and reading coaches of each school before we assess the unique needs of their library. After conducting a minimum of two school visits, we work with media specialists to create a personalized list of books from our master list. These books are intended to help fill the gaps in each collection, and will be delivered within the year of participation.
Our goal is to ensure that every public elementary school in the county has a plethora of books that reflect their diverse student body. As we work to bring Books as Mirrors to all qualifying schools, we will place special importance on “priority schools,” specifically schools with higher numbers of multicultural students, and schools designated as high-poverty schools (public schools where more than 75% of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.)
Year 1 Schools:
Cleveland Academy of Leadership, Drayton Mills Elementary, Duncan Elementary School of the Arts, Jesse S. Bobo Elementary, Roebuck Elementary, and Woodland Heights Elementary
Year 2 Schools:
Arcadia Elementary, E.P. Todd Elementary, Lone Oak Elementary, Mary H. Wright Elementary, and New Prospect Elementary
Fundraising is still underway to guarantee the success of the program beyond year two. If you’re interested in adopting a school, pledging your support for a year, or giving a one-time donation to Books as Mirrors, please contact Julie Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail a check (please write Books as Mirrors in the memo line) to:
Hub City Writers Project
186 West Main St.
Spartanburg, SC 29306
Cleveland Academy of Leadership
Drayton Mills Elementary
Pauline-Glenn Springs Elementary